Elderly patients at long-term care facilities may experience a variety of mental health concerns and problems such as behavioral issues stemming from adjustment to a new environment as well as problems related to Alzheimer's and other dementias. When those issues arise, it’s important that the facility has an experienced team of psychologists and social workers who are prepared to help.
Here are 10 reasons why your facility should consider adding mental health professionals to its care team:
1. We add a layer of service to your facility’s offerings.
When selecting a long-term care facility, patients and their families want a center that provides truly comprehensive care. Adding mental health services to your list of offerings demonstrates your facility’s commitment to patient health and well-being
2. We identify and treat mental health issues among patients.
Many residents at long-term care facilities experience depression and anxiety, along with other disorders, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Geropsychologists are uniquely trained to address these concerns in elderly populations.
3. We help patients adjust to their new environments.
When entering a long-term care facility, many patients struggle to cope with their sudden loss of independence. Meeting with a psychologist may help these patients adjust to their new lifestyle.
4. We educate and train your staff.
As an extension of your care team, our psychologists will train your staff to identify the symptoms and warning signs that accompany mental health concerns.
5. We promote communication between patients and the medical team.
Mental health professionals can help to guide conversations between patients and their medical team to ensure that both sides have the information they need.
6. We facilitate communication between patient families and the medical team.
Patient families often have questions and concerns about their loved ones’ medical care. Mental health professionals can help to interpret medical information, so they feel comfortable with treatment plans.
7. We assist in crisis intervention.
When a behavioral crisis occurs, it’s crucial for a facility to have a response team in place. Mental health consultants must be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to address emergencies.
8. We notice subtle changes in moods and behaviors.
Mental health professionals stay alert to shifts in patient behaviors. They keep the medical team informed about any concerns that may indicate a larger health problem.
9. We provide referrals.
Depending on the diagnosis, some patients require specialized treatment. We’re trained to identify those situations and provide referrals to ensure that all patients receive the care they need.
10. We advocate for patients and their families.
As mental health professionals, our concern for our patients goes beyond each counseling session. We champion their needs, and we’re dedicated to providing them with the best possible care.
Thinking about adding a mental health professional to your facility’s team? Contact us today to start the conversation.